I'd love to be able to put into words the fly fishing weekend that I just experienced with my brother-in-law but I don't think I'd do it any kind of justice. It was comprised of two die-hards, fishing sun up to sun down and beating a path to and from probably a dozen locations on three Catskill Streams. There was good food and great beer. There was not enough sleep and leaky waders. There were personal best trout caught on the fly and...didn't I just type that I can't put it into words?? I'll shut up now.
Off we go. Friday. Post work and on the road!!
First stop was Catskill Flies on Stewart Ave in Roscoe for some timely advice from Walt and Dennis.
Creekside Cabins. These folks run a great setup. Beautiful stretch of the Willowemoc right outside our back door. We wasted no time and my partner hooked up and netted a nice Brown quickly. Check out the talon markings. This was one tough fish!
I'd have to wait to connect early the next morning but these Amber Ales from Roscoe Beer Company hit the spot at dusk on the Willow. This is a new brewer and I've been looking forward to these suds for over a year. Well worth the wait. This was the beverage of choice along our journeys this weekend. I even found a big bottle cap!! If you get the chance, I highly recommend this tasty brew.
This feisty little speckled Trout broke the ice for me at 5:25 on Saturday morning while swinging a streamer. Speaking of ice, it would riddle our guides and freeze up our reels for the better part of Saturday morning! It was time for some hot coffee and bacon at the Famous Roscoe Diner! What a great tradition.
We fished a few of the famous pools on the Beaverkill on Saturday with a good deal of success but Barnhart's Pool was magic for me. This 18" Rainbow is my personal best and was taken on a size 14 Pheasant Tail. I was fishing a double nymph rig with the PT on top and a Hare's Ear (go figure) dropped off on 6X tippet. The fish fought like hell and my right leg was actually shaking! I was hoping he wasn't on the 6X and, thankfully, he wasn't. I was fishing far from my cohort so this is the only pic I could snap before a safe release. I couldn't believe I had taken such a slab. It was a great feeling of accomplishment for me as I have really been doing my homework this winter and hoping for results like these.
My brother in law has also been a fine student of the fly this winter. His work paid him off in even larger dividends on the East Branch of the Delaware River later that afternoon. We got no official measurement on this slab but we didn't need one. This was a hell of a fish!!
Catching these fish was just a bonus to the weekend. There were so many other things to take note of. Simple beauty was easy to find everywhere you looked.
My Dad used to say that all the time. "Catching fish is just a bonus." What a great lesson he taught me. I made it a point to pass by the old Hansel and Gretel Cabins, long shut down, that started this fishing journey for me more than 25 years ago. You can see that there are only a couple of cabins remaining and a couple of concrete slabs where others once stood. The trees are cut down to stumps and there are "No Trespassing" signs all up and down the driveway. I'm not sure what they are doing here but that water behind those cabins, no doubt, holds ghosts from the past. I am glad I got to see this sight, different as it is, because it seems it won't be there much longer.
All said and done we had what both of us considered to be the greatest fishing experience we've had to this point. Looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, "THANKS FOR VISITING".
Lastly, even though we always want to fish some more, at some point, we have to take the bear's advice: